You guys are going to talk yourselves out of what few benefits you have left. Keep bleating about a graduated income tax, the constitution, blah, blah, blah. You are better off letting your elected leaders cut your losses and negotiate to protect your retirees, solidify your pension system, and quite possibly keep some state subsidy for retiree health insurance. If they cannot mitigate some of this damage you’ll be at the mercy of the courts. Just like arbitration, your chances in court are 50-50 at best regardless of the circumstances. Do you want to take that chance? I already know that answer. So wear your black shirts, try to obstruct your leaders efforts, talk tough, make a lot of noise downstate and see where all of that gets you. It is always a tough concept for a lot of teachers to understand that there are actually people who may know a little more than they do and that they are not always right no matter how much noise they make.
By the way, the cost shift is constitutional. So is taxing your retirement income and tripling the cost of your retiree health insurance. You might not have to choose between health insurance and your inflated COLA. The insurance will be unaffordable. Negotiate and make a deal. That’s what unions are supposed to do.
Talk to a teacher under 60 once in a while. Talk to a two tier teacher and ask them how they feel about fighting for your COLA and your health insurance when you retire at 55.. They don’t care and just want to keep their jobs. Believe it or not you old guys are no longer the center of the universe.
You know, Bill. The thing about us old guys is we don’t say things like, “…the constitution, blah, blah, bah.”
And I haven’t thought I was the center of the universe since Mr. Blitztein’s science class when I studied Copernicus.
By the way, Mr. Blitztein really was convinced that nobody knew more than he did.
And he was right.